Published on 24 December 2014
The flora of New Caledonia is noted worldwide for its exceptional diversity of 3 371 native vascular plant species, of which three-quarters are endemic. The originality of this flora is remarkable at the higher taxonomic levels (three endemic families and close to one hundred endemic genera), and made even more so by the high proportion of primitive or unusual lineages such as a parasitic conifer and plants that accumulate heavy metals. Certain species are still awaiting description and research programmes are needed to better understand the source of this diversity and to contribute to its conservation.
This new addition to the Flora of New Caledonia, jointly published by the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, Research Institute for Development), is a monograph on New Caledonian Cunoniaceae. This family comprises 350 species, mostly distributed in the southern hemisphere, and is particularly well represented in New Caledonia, with 91 species, all endemic, belonging to seven genera: Codia, Cunonia, Geissois, Hooglandia, Pancheria, Spiraeanthemum and Weinmannia.
The book begins with a general description of the family and continues with that of each genus and species, accompanied with illustrated identification keys and numerous range maps, line drawings and photographs. Both attractive and thorough, this flora is bound to remain for many years the international reference for New Caledonian Cunoniaceae.
HOPKINS H. C. F., PILLON Y. & HOOGLAND R. D. 2014. — Cunoniaceae. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, volume 26. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris ; IRD, Marseille, 455 p. (Faune et Flore tropicales ; 45).